ANC6A September Meeting: A Focus on Violent Crime

ANC 6A Report

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Chair Amber Gove (6A04) convened the September 8, 2022 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A with Commissioners Keya Chatterjee (6A01),  Commissioner Phil Toomajian (6A02), Robb Dooling (6A06), Sondra Phillips-Gilbert (6A07) and Brian Alcorn (6A08) in attendance. Commissioners Mike Soderman (6A03) and Laura Gentile (6A05) were absent

Community Presentations

Public Safety: Gun Violence Prevention

Director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention Linda Harllee Harper noted that this is a concerning time in DC as incidents of gun violence are increasing. The mayor created the Gun Violence Prevention Emergency Operation Center two years ago in collaboration with Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) and staff were dispatched to communities across the city with the highest levels of gun violence. A year ago, an Office of Gun Violence Prevention was created directly within the Office of the City Administrator, and the purpose is to coordinate and collaborate with different government agencies and remove barriers to accessing city services. The Community Justice Action Fund recently released a report on jurisdictions with the best investments in gun violence prevention, and DC was the first on the list, reflecting that investments are in the right places and there should be long term positive impacts. The recent investments in the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), for example, lead to unique programming for teens and at-risk youth. The Office will focus on the People of Promise initiative, trying to find and engage 250 individuals at risk for high gun violence that were identified in a recent assessment by the National Institute of Criminal Justice Reform. Especially as juvenile violence is rising, authorities ask for the help of schools, community members, and faith institutions to identify and engage at-risk youth. DC has one of the strongest juvenile confidentiality laws in the country and the nuances of the juvenile system are not widely understood by the public. Harllee Harper recommends having the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) at a future meeting. The DYRS Parent Support Group is called Anchored in Strength, facilitated by Princess Whitaker Taylor who can be reached at 202-431-1668. Ms. Harllee Harper can be reached at linda.harlleeharper@dc.gov.

Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen

Councilmember Allen recognized that public safety is an urgent priority and has confidence in Commander Bryant, Captain Savoy, and their teams to strategically address the troubling violent incidents happening in Ward 6 and the District as a whole. The Councilmember believes there needs to be a whole government approach to violence prevention, meaning several government agencies need to be working alongside MPD. The government is taking a “both/and” approach, attempting to both prevent cycles of violence and asking deeper questions and responding swiftly when incidents of violence occur. There has been a renewed focus on H Street Corridor, where authorities are focused both on preventing violence and responding and intervening quickly when it does happen. In response to a shooting near Maury Elementary, which was a targeted incident, the Councilmember would like to get the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and other agencies involved to augment MPD’s services. He also reminded the community that in addition to the Red Flag Law, if a family member reports a juvenile’s gun possession, that gun can be safely taken away and the juvenile will not be charged with possession. In addition to gun violence, the Councilmember recognizes other public safety concerns, such as reckless driving and notes that we need slower and safer streets, especially as children are walking to school again. The Councilmember continues to support crisis response teams and highly recommends residents take advantage of the security camera rebate program: ovsjg.dc.gov/service/privatesecurity-camera-system-incentive-program.

First District (1D) Commander Tasha Bryant

First District Commander Tasha Bryant participated in summer workshop with other major US city police departments and found that all of these cities are facing the same challenges of increased crime and youth violence. Commander Bryant reported that overall 6A crime is actually down, but there has been a string of violent offenses. The nightlife initiative that started on June 17th on H Street is in effect on Friday and Saturday nights, and MPD will install dedicated officers in the corridor, giving the community and business owners the opportunity to connect with officers and establish relationships. The amount of carjackings and stolen cars has decreased, and MPD is hoping to modify behavior by letting residents know to not leave their cars idling or in unsafe parking areas. MPD is seeking any additional information or videos from the shooting on Tennessee Avenue and the homicide at Eastern High School and ask that residents remain aware of their surroundings and report anything suspicious to MPD. Commander Bryant noted that while there is some controversy around curfews, MPD has mostly been implementing curfews to keep at-risk juveniles at home.

The following actions were accepted by unanimous consent:

Alcohol Beverage Licensing (ABL)

• ANC 6A will protest the license application of Bronze DC, LLC t/a Bronze DC unless a Settlement Agreement is reached prior to the protest deadline.

• ANC 6A will update the existing Settlement Agreement with DC Conscious Cafe, LLC t/a DC Conscious Cafe to reflect the current standard agreement for the ANC.

• ANC 6A will protest the license renewal application of Chupacabra, LLC t/a Chupacabra unless an updated Settlement Agreement is reached prior to the protest date.

Transportation and Public Space (TPS)

• ANC 6A will send a letter to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) requesting that the Traffic Safety Investigation (TSI) Dashboard include the entire text of the submission, information about work orders, and planned timeline for resolution.

ANC 6A will write a letter to DDOT in support of the Low Impact Development proposals for the intersections of on West Virginia Avenue/8th Street/K Street and West Virginia Avenue/L Street/9th Street, with the provisions that DDOT retain the south crosswalk on West Virginia Avenue and 8th Street NE, or make the crosswalk at 8th and K Streets NE a raised crosswalk to slow traffic coming around the pocket park and onto West Virginia Avenue NE, and add trees to both new green spaces; and ANC 6A send a letter to the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) requesting that the bioretention areas be regularly maintained and cleaned.

• ANC 6A will send a letter to DDOT in support of NOI #22-221-TESD to install multimodal safety improvements on C Street NE between 11th and 15th Streets, and request that loss of linear feet of parking for setbacks be minimized to the extent possible while ensuring safety.

Economic Development and Zoning (EDZ)

• ANC 6A will send a letter of support or a plan to construct a rear three-story addition; add a partial third floor on the existing house, and renovate the existing house for a home at 223 8th Street NE (HPA 22-329) in the Capitol Hill Historic District.

• ANC 6A will send a letter of support to the Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) for a special exception to raze three existing buildings and to construct a new, six-story with cellar and penthouse, mixed use building at 814 14th Street NE (BZA 20744).

• ANC 6A will send a letter of support to BZA for a special exception, to construct a mixed-use building at 1341 H Street NE (BZA 19358) in the with the caveat that the owner make best efforts to get letters of support from neighbors.

• ANC 6A will provide comments to the Zoning Committee at the public hearing on a proposed Racial Equity Analysis Tool (ZC Case 22-RT1) to evaluate all zoning actions through a racial equity lens. A draft presentation will be delivered to the ANC from the EDZ.

Community Outreach Committee (COC)

• ANC 6A will appoint Kelsey Grimes, Jessica Clark and Iris Gill to the Community Outreach Committee.

Commission Business

• ANC 6A will send a letter to DDOT requesting the addition of a stop at Lincoln Park at East Capitol and 12th Streets (both north and south of the park) to the proposed Deanwood-Union Station Circulator route.

Other Motions

• ANC 6A will send a letter to the DDOT Public Space Commission in support of Brown AME’s application to replace their existing chain link fence with a decorative black metal fence no taller than 72 inches and in accordance with the documentation submitted in their application. The motion passed five in favor with Commissioner Toomajian abstaining. 

Visit www.anc6a.org for a calendar of meeting times, meeting agendas and other information.